NEW YORK (WETM) – New Yorkers are still feeling the pinch on their wallets when they go to the grocery store as inflation runs rampant down the aisles. The NYS Division of Consumer Protection has issued a list of tips on how to save at the grocery store as part of a series of alerts intended to help New Yorkers with rising costs.

The series will give guidance on how New Yorkers can save on utilities, good, energy, transportation, entertainment and other shopping costs. NYS said from November 2021 to Nov. 2022, food prices in the Empire State increased 12% and are expected to go up another 3-4% in 2023.

“During financially challenging times, it’s important to choose fresh and wholesome food for your family,” said NYS Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, “not only for its nutritional value but also for its economic value as fresh foods that are minimally processed, when properly refrigerated, can last longer, extending your budget so that you can provide more meals for your family throughout the week.”

Here’s a list of tips from the NYS DCP to save on groceries:

  • Plan your meals. Planning meals in advance, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, will reduce food waste and cut down on expensive meal delivery or dining-out costs. Make a grocery list to support the plan and reduce impulsive purchases. 
  • Look for deals. Plan meals around a few bulk ingredients or based on the weekly grocery sales circular to ensure you’re buying items on sale. Take advantage of store savings and enroll in store reward programs. Search for online coupons, use store savings and rewards cards, and watch for manufacturer coupons attached to the items in-store. 
  • Shop strategically for food. Take inventory of what you have at home before going shopping. Go to the grocery store with a list, having planned out your meals until your next grocery trip. 
  • Reduce food waste:
    • Learn about food product dating. According to the FDA, confusion over date labeling accounts for an estimated 20 percent of consumer food waste. Important tips to know:
      • Except for infant formula, manufacturers are not required by Federal law or regulation to place quality-based date labels on packaged food.
      • Manufacturers apply date labels at their own discretion and for a variety of reasons. The most common is to inform consumers and retailers of the date to which they can expect the food to retain its desired quality and flavor.
      • Best if Used By is the standard phrase to indicate the date until which a product will be at its best flavor and quality, not the date an item will spoil. Consumers should examine foods that are past their Best if Used By date for signs of spoilage before they throw them away.
        • For example, bread past its Best if Used By date may be stale, but if it is not moldy or spoiled, it could be used to make French toast, croutons, breadcrumbs and several other items you may otherwise buy at the store.
      • To learn more tips on how to cut food waste, visit
  • Use your freezer. Freezing is a great way to store most foods to keep them from going bad until you are ready to eat them.
  • Understand food and beverage storage. It will help you maximize the freshness and quality of items. Visit FoodKeeper for information on how to safely store different foods to maintain freshness and quality.
  • Got Leftovers? Make one dinner a week your ‘smorgasbord night’. Reheat those leftovers as is or turn them into an entirely different meal by adding some additional ingredients. 
  • Consider planting a garden in the Spring. This can help save both time and money. Turn those harvested fresh veggies into lunches and dinners, and then can or freeze your excess harvest to enjoy it all year long.
  • Wholesale clubs. Purchase in bulk to save money on items you frequently buy. Wholesale shopping also allows you to stock up for fewer shopping trips. Some wholesale clubs allow membership sharing, and that could mean splitting the membership fee with a friend or family member. Remember to cancel memberships you aren’t using.
  • Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables peak at a certain time of year. Prices normally drop when they’re in season and rise when they’re not. Learn what’s in season with this guide to New York’s produce.